The marketers guide to creating a website

This post describes how Marketing Personnel should approach website creation/ design/ development.
These are some easy to execute steps, with references to various sources I use for inspiration, ideas, as well as guidance.

Step I: Research, research, research

One of the most critical but oft neglected steps. Even before you begin creating your website, try researching about topics like    : 
  •   Content:
    • Website writing is the exact opposite of book writing  
    • Write the conclusion, and then move into the explanation
    • Try reading statistics on average time spent on a page. Two minutes is pushing it on many sites  
    • Research reading heat maps
  • SEO
    • Learn
    • Try learning a bit of HTML and CSS 
    • Learn about Google Bots and other search bots
    • Get to know how pages get indexed
    • Read this cheatsheet
  • Design
    • Read about
      • Navigability
      • User interfaces
      • Clicks and how to maximize them
      • Customer click studies 
      • Typography 
      • Color palettes
      • Sitemap: Design, importance and how to make them 
     Step II: Customer research

    So you’ve read up all about how to create a website, but do you know who the customer is. Some questions I ask myself are:
    • Who am I marketing to?
      • What type of business am I trying to market? B2B, B2C, B2A etc.
      • What makes the sale?
        • Ask your sales team for this information
      •  If you have a site existent then you can get a few tips off it
      Oh, BTW, if you are creating a website for a social cause or for a non-profit organization, I suggest you read this
      Step III: What should I use to build it
      • Identify if you want control over the site content or not!!?
        • If you do, then the choice is a CMS, like Joomla, Drupal, DotNetNuke etc.
        •  If not, get hold of a really good website designer
          • Check her/him for: Design skills, platforms skills and web design knowledge (Basically you need to know more than him thus)
        Step IV: What are the elements?

        Image from :

        • Identify your website elements like
          • Frontpage: Key and very important
          • Inner pages
            • How many to create?
            • What will their design be like?
          • Photos and Images: What, which and how to use
          • Navigation
          • About Us page: Believe it or not, most customers want to know your company first. Unless you are a fortune 20 company
          • Contact Us information
          • Search box
            • Where will it be located?
            • Check out good sites for search box functionality. Apple has a great option
          • Footer design
          • Error Pages

        Step V: Action stations!
        Image Courtesy:
        • Critical step of all: Identify Call-to-action
          • What will they be? Will it be
            • Email us
            • Contact Us
            • Contact forms
            • Download collateral
            • Product download: registration
            • Share options
            • Chat with us
            • Offline support
          •  Where will they be located?
          • What, if any, action button on Frontpage?
          • What actions to place on which pages?
            • What location? Right hand side, left hand side, top menu
        Step VI: Wire it out

        • Create a wire frame diagram of your website for ( I use this)
          • Frontpage
          • Inner pages
            • Helps you get a clearer picture of the layout

          Step VII: Approval, dummy!


          • Very critical
          • Send the wireframe, design ideas and all other stuff to your management for review
            • If you don't then you might have to redo it!


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